Answered by Christopher Combs in Personal Injury on April 01, 2021.

If you’ve been in a car accident, injured yourself after slipping and falling, or are dealing with the recent wrongful death of a friend or loved one, you may be considering filing a lawsuit against the person or company that was the source of your injuries, pain, and suffering. However, the hustle and bustle of everyday life occasionally prevents you from contacting a St. Louis law firm and getting your case started.

It is important to know that while patience may be a virtue, it is not wise to wait when filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. There is a time limit when it comes to all types of both criminal and civil court cases, and it varies depending on what type of case you have. The skilled personal injury lawyers at Combs Waterkotte can help you find out if time has run out to file your civil lawsuit. If it has not, call them today at (314) 900-HELP for a free consultation and to put them to work for you.

About Statutes of Limitations

If you’ve ever watched a show like Law and Order or Blue Bloods on TV, you likely know that certain types of criminal charges must be brought before a judge within a certain time limit, or they cannot be prosecuted. What you may not know is that statutes of limitations apply to all legal scenarios, including civil cases, except murder/homicide in most cases. They are found in every legal system across the world, though in civil law systems (such as in Europe) they are more commonly called “prescriptive periods”.

Statutes of limitations are some of the oldest legal precedents: records exist from the 5th century B.C. that document ancient Athens having a five year limit on bringing non-murder cases in front of judges. They exist to encourage defendants to bring cases forward in a timely manner and limit fradulent claims. In some situations, statutes of limitations can be extended for specific reasons, such as the plaintiff in the case being a minor (a process called tolling), or important evidence in the case had not been found yet (known as discovery).

Statutes of Limitations In Missouri

As we said earlier, statutes of limitations vary not only case-by-case, but also state-by-state. For instance, if you live in Missouri but suffered injuries from a ATV accident in Illinois, you would have to follow Illinois’ timeline for personal injury lawsuits and not Missouri’s.

Statutes of limitations in Missouri for common civil cases we handle are as follows:

  • Personal Injury: 5 years from the date of the accident. This includes premises liabilty cases, cases involving defective products, and property damage cases. Cases involving minors are tolled until they reach the age of majority–in this case, 21.
  • Wrongful Death: three years from the date of death. There are no exceptions for tolling or discovery in Missouri.

Contact An Experienced St. Louis Personal Injury Law Firm Today

Regardless of your case and when it happened, the attorneys at Combs Waterkotte are ready to talk with you about the best way to proceed with your St. Louis personal injury lawsuit. Call them at (314) 900-HELP, or contact them online today.


Personal Injury